Longtime pizza vendor at Knoebels Amusement Resort retires after 40 years

A long-time pizza vendor in Knoebels Leisure Resort to retire.

After 40 years, Cesari’s Pizza is permanently shutting down its ovens at the park, which is introducing a new pizza recipe in time for the April 30 reopening.

Over the years, Cesari’s stand has more than doubled as his pizzas grew in popularity alongside the park crowd.

“We made our own sauce and grated the mozzarella cheese,” said Angela Martini, daughter of Cesari founder Carmen “Chuck” Cesari. “What I will miss the most is coming in every morning to make all the fresh dough for the day.”

Cesari dates back to 1981 when Dick Knoebel, the park’s president, approached the family about opening a pizza stand. Knoebel wanted homemade pizza, as opposed to frozen.

Carmen Cesari eventually became manager of the Alamo restaurant in the park and surrounding stalls and before her death in September 2019, ordered food for Knoebels Caterings. More recently, Martini operated the stand with the help of her mother, Donna.

In Cesari’s absence, Knoebels said he would introduce a new pizza. The yet-to-be-named stand will serve slices and whole pies and expand its offerings as the season progresses.

“Just like when we introduced pizza at Knoebels over 40 years ago, it will be fresh ingredient pizza, dough and everything,” Knoebel said. “We’re excited for our guests to try it out and think they’re really going to love it.”

The park near Elysburg opens weekends from April 30 and runs for seven days from May 26 to Labor Day. It is open on weekends in September and October.

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